Two More Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes I See in Submissions

Missed my first post on grammar and punctuation? Check it out here.

 

Next up…two more grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in submissions:

 

We just can't agree.

 

Subjects/verbs and nouns/pronouns should agree in number. Pronouns should agree with each other.

Incorrect: My stories reveals character growth.

Incorrect: A writer is free to explore their imagination. 

Incorrect: Once one has started a story, you should finish it.

Correct: My stories reveal character growth. OR My story reveals character growth.

Correct: A writer is free to explore his or her imagination. OR Writers are free to explore their imaginations.

Correct: Once you have started a story, you should finish it. 

 

To splice or not to splice.

 

A comma splice joins two independent clauses with only a comma. (Independent clauses are actually complete sentences that can stand on their own.) Instead, use a period or semicolon to separate the two independent clauses or join them with a subordinating conjunction. You can also use a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb to join two independent clauses.

 

Incorrect: I started writing a new story, I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

Incorrect: I started writing a new story, however, I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

Correct:  I started writing a new story; I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

Correct: I started writing a new story. I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

Correct: I started writing a new story, although I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

Correct: I started writing a new story; however, I'm finding it hard to connect with the main character.

 

Some common conjunctive adverbs: however, therefore, then, thus, nevertheless, accordingly, as a result, moreover, even so, rather, indeed, also, hence, yet, thus

Some common subordinating conjunctions: after, although, as, as soon as, because, before, by the time, even if, even though, every time, if, in case, in the event that, just in case, now that, once, only if, since, since the first time, though, unless, until, when, whenever, whereas, whether or not, while

 

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